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The Morning Fix

WWE eyes pay TV! Matthew Perry tries again. Knives out for Katie.

September 11, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Matthew Perry has a new sitcom on NBC.
Matthew Perry has a new sitcom on NBC. (NBC )

After the coffee. Before taking a moment to remember.

The Skinny: I went to Fox's fall season premiere party last night and it turned into an event for NBC's "Revolution" after the power went out. For those not in the know, "Revolution" is NBC's new drama about a blackout and its aftermath. Tuesday's headlines include the WWE's plans for a pay-TV channel, the shocking news that actors won't say much off camera, reviews of the first day of Katie Couric's new talk show, and a visit with Matthew Perry, who has a new comedy on NBC.

Daily Dose: Recognizing that when it has a doubleheader of football game that starts after 4 p.m. its prime-time programming never starts on time, CBS has decided to move the start time of its prime-time schedule by half an hour in the Eastern and Central time zones on the Sundays it has two NFL games on. In other words, "60 Minutes" would start at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. and so on. That won't reduce the frustration viewers feel when "The Good Wife starts well after 9 p.m., but at least they won't have to guess anymore about what time it will start. Of course, given how long some NFL games run, that still may not be enough of a cushion. 

It's not TV, it's the WWE. Over three years ago, the WWE disclosed plans to launch a cable channel that would be widely distributed. Now the company is changing its tune and is looking at going the pay route a la HBO. But are there enough hard-core WWE fans willing to shell out more than $10 per month to watch John Cena and Triple H? A look at the WWE's change in plans from the Los Angeles Times. Separately, legendary WWE commentator and performer Jerry Lawler was rushed to the hospital after collapsing during "Monday Night Raw." More on that from the Los Angeles Times.

Nothing to say. Just like professional athletes who like to say they play one game at a time, actors are mastering the art of saying nothing when a recorder or camera is rolling. The New York Times laments the lack of scintillating dialog at the Toronto Film Festival, where movie stars are limiting their remarks to whatever some PR person scripted for them. Of course, that's been the norm for the last several years lest someone say something that could make one think. My favorite is when an actor who has never done TV before says he or she took a project because the writing was so good. That's code for: I'm too old to get the feature roles I used to get.

Knives out. Katie Couric's new talk show premiered Monday (I know because colleagues were watching it in the office without wearing headphones, which proved to be quite the distraction) and the critics are already out with their report cards. USA Today and the Los Angeles Times were less than impressed. The New York Times says Couric is trying hard to be just like us (not me, I hope). Variety said the show was a famous person talking to her famous friends. All I'll say is that it is one day and critics should watch the show for the next few weeks to see how it is evolving.

Digital Domain change. Visual effects firm Digital Domain Media Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday and said it was selling its production unit to Searchlight Capital Partners for $15 million. "Titanic" and "Avatar" director James Cameron is one of the founders of Digital Domain. Early reports from Reuters and Bloomberg

Changing the formula. Nielsen, noting a rise in the number of homes that have a TV but don't have a cable or some other pay-TV service but instead use a Netflix or Apple TV for their content needs, is considering changing its definition of a TV household. Such a move, of course, has the potential to change the way ratings are determined. More from the Associated Press.

Skipping ads. Apparently TV viewers aren't the only ones looking to avoid commercials. Amazon is offering to eliminate the ads that show up on their Kindle. It will only cost you $15. Think of it as a quiet car on an Amtrak train with a cover charge. Don't be surprised if TV distributors try to go this route too down the road. Coverage from the Wall Street Journal.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Matthew Perry is ready for another close-up.  David Lazarus says it's time for cable to stop fighting a regulation that requires lowering the volume on commercials. 

Follow me on Twitter. I'm not going anywhere. @JBFlint.

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